Breathtaking infatuation for RH bill
I just want to help wake the Inquirer up from what I see might be its “RH infatuation,” which I believe led it to assert that the “best argument for the RH bill as it now stands is that it will help minimize the number of illegal or illicit abortions we suffer every year. Think of tens of thousands of innocent lives spared.”
A cold shower of scientific findings might help.
First, from a study on the link between contraception and abortion (published early this year, not in a prolife magazine but in the scientific journal, Contraception, subtitled “an international reproductive health journal” and conducted through a 10-year period). From 1997 to 2007, the overall use of contraceptive methods increased from 49.1 percent to 79.9 percent. The elective abortion rate increased from 5.52 to 11.49 per 1,000 women.
Second, Nobel prize winner and liberal economist, George Akerlof, writing at the Quarterly Journal of Economics (published by the MIT Press), described the effect of contraceptives: more premarital sex, more fatherless children, more single mothers, and since the contraceptives sometimes fail, more abortions.
Third, leaders of the abortion industry themselves have openly admitted the empirical link between contraception and abortion. Malcolm Potts, the first medical director of International Planned Parenthood: “As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate.” Judith Bury, coordinator of Doctors for a Woman’s Choice on Abortion: “There is overwhelming evidence that … the provision of contraception leads to an increase in the abortion rate.”
Fourth, silent abortions caused by the use of the pill amount to deliberate killings of innocent lives. Dr. Walter Larimore, who for decades prescribed the pill, tried to disprove the claim that the pill is abortifacient, only to find 94 scientific studies proving that “postfertilization effects are operative to prevent clinically recognized pregnancy.” He published his findings in the scientific journal of the American Medical Association, and from then on stopped prescribing the pill. Shouldn’t we as a nation also stop prescribing a drug that kills our youngest Filipinos?
Please take note that the basis of Rep. Edcel Lagman’s claim of an 85-percent reduction in abortion rate due to contraception is a report of the Guttmacher Institute, which started as a division of Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortion services in the United States.
It is significant that the Guttmacher Institute itself found in its 2003 study that “levels of abortion and contraceptive use rose simultaneously” in six countries: Cuba, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United States, Singapore and the Republic of Korea.
These are hard facts. And the rational explanation behind the link is clear: the anti-human mentality at the heart of contraception’s falsification of sex, which casually call some children “unwanted” rather than gifts.
Contraception. 2011 Jan;83(1):82-7. Epub 2010 Jun 17: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21134508
Trends in the use of contraceptive methods and voluntary interruption of pregnancy in the Spanish population during 1997-2007.
Dueñas JL, Lete I, Bermejo R, Arbat A, Pérez-Campos E, Martínez-Salmeán J, Serrano I, Doval JL, Coll C.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena, E-41009 Sevilla, Spain. email@example.com
This study was designed to acquire information about the use of contraceptive methods in order to reduce the number of elective abortions.
Since 1997, representative samples of Spanish women of childbearing potential (15-49 years) have been surveyed by the Daphne Team every 2 years to gather data of contraceptive methods used.
During the study period, 1997 to 2007, the overall use of contraceptive methods increased from 49.1% to 79.9%. The most commonly used method was the condom (an increase from 21% to 38.8%), followed by the pill (an increase from 14.2% to 20.3%). Female sterilization and IUDs decreased slightly and were used by less than 5% of women in 2007. The elective abortion rate increased from 5.52 to 11.49 per 1000 women.
The factors responsible for the increased rate of elective abortion need further investigation.
AKP paper: http://www.phnix.net/AKP_Position_Paper_on_RH-Abortion_Bills_rev04.pdf
Since contraceptives will not reduce unplanned pregnancy, they will
not reduce abortion rates either and may increase them.
As shown in the previous section, contraceptive usage can actually increase the incidence of unplanned
pregnancy, and consequently, demand for abortion. In addition, studies in democratic countries that do
not have historically very high abortion rates and where fertility is healthy or still dropping – exactly
the situation in the Philippines – reveal that contraception does not necessarily lower abortion rates.
The Guttmacher Institute notes that in the United States, 54% of women seeking abortions were using
contraception in the month they became pregnant.16 In Sweden, K. Edgardh found that despite free
abortions, free contraceptive counseling, low cost condoms and oral contraceptives, and over-thecounter
emergency contraception (EC), Swedish teen abortion rates rose to 22.5 per thousand from 17
per thousand between 1995 and 2001.17
Pro-RH groups have often cited studies that they claim prove that contraception will lower abortion
rates. But much of this data is from countries that had abnormally high abortion rates to begin with, or
countries that have very low, constant fertility. These conditions do not exist in the Philippines
The republics of the former Soviet Union and the Russian Federation are examples of countries that
have historically very high abortion rates as a result of abortion being used as a birth control method, as
well as government coercion or encouragement to abort.
The Guttmacher Institute's own study in 2003 showed simultaneous increases both abortion rates and
contraceptive use in the United States, Cuba, Denmark, Netherlands, Singapore, and South Korea. The
study also claimed, however, that abortion rates went down after fertility on some of those countries
had reached very low levels and became constant, particularly in South Korea. Critics note, however,
that In the United States, lowered abortion rates were also due to state laws restricting access to
Michael New Ph.D., (Feb. 2007), for example, found that pro-life legislation such as laws requiring
parental involvement in the abortion decision, requiring informed consent, imposing Medicaid funding
restrictions, and banning partial-birth abortion, reduces minors' abortion rates. Parental involvement
state laws resulted in a 30.5% decline, and Medicaid funding restrictions which result in a 23%
decline.18 In an earlier (2006) study, Dr. New also found that after states passed and enforced parental
involvement laws, abortion rates among minors were reduced. When these laws were repealed,
abortion rates rose, and dropped again when new parental involvement laws were again passed and
Abortion - Contraception Link: Quotes from the Abortion Industry Itself
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ABORTION-CONTRACEPTION CONNECTION - ABORTION INDUSTRY COMMENTS
Pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute has repeatedly reported on major surveys that show 56%-58% of all women having abortions were using contraception the month they became pregnant.
Alan Guttmacher [former President of Planned Parenthood] stated, "...when abortion is easily obtainable, contraception is neither actively nor diligently used...there would be no reward for the woman who practices contraception...Abortion on demand relieves the husband of all responsibility; he simply becomes a coital animal." [Rutgers Law Review 22, 1968]
Alan Guttmacher Institute researcher Stanley K. Henshaw: “Contraceptive users appear to have been more motivated to prevent births than were nonusers.”
Alan Guttmacher Institute researcher Stan E. Weed: “[F]or every 1000 teens between 15-19 years of age enrolled in family planning clinics, we can expect between 50 to 120 more pregnancies.”
Infamous “sexologist” Alfred Kinsey, 1955: “At the risk of being repetitious, I would remind the group that we have found the highest frequency of induced abortions in the groups which, in general, most frequently uses contraception.”
Sociologist Lionel Tiger, 1999: “With effective contraception controlled by women, there are still more abortions than ever…[C]ontraception causes abortion.”
National Survey of Family Growth- Contraceptive failure rates show 7% for the pill, 16% for the condom, 22% for the diaphragm, and 30% for spermicide. Figures are even higher for unmarried people.
British Abortionist Judith Bury, Brook Advisory Centres, 1981: “...women...have come to request [abortions] when contraception fails. There is overwhelming evidence that, contrary to what you might expect, the provision [availability] of contraception leads to an increase in the abortion rate.” ["Sex Education for Bureaucrats," The Scotsman, 29June1981]
Planned Parenthood's Frederick S. Jaffe, in Abortion Politics, admitted that "...even if everyone were to practice contraception, and use the most effective medically prescribed methods, there would still be a very large number of unwanted pregnancies."
"...even if women use 95 percent-effective contraception, seven out of 10 will eventually face an unwanted pregnancy," reported "The Successful Animal", Science 86.
Abortionist and international contraception promoter Malcolm Potts [former director of Planned Parenthood of England] 1976 (even as early as 1973) quoted in Sex and Social Engineering by Valerie Riches.- “As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate...”.
In Abortion, he noted, "...those who use contraception are more likely than those who do not to resort to induced abortion..."
At another time he said, "No society has controlled its fertility...without recourse to a significant number of abortions." [Malcolm Potts, "Fertility Rights," The Guardian, 25April1979]
Notice how the same groups (e.g. Planned Parenthood, UNFPA, etc.) push both contraception and abortion. Even in the law, the two are connected; the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade abortion ruling had roots in the earlier Griswold v. Connecticut contraception case...
Albert Einstein is noted as having defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."
Contraception and abortion come from the same tree: the desire for sex without children.
UNFPA and the entire abortion industry endlessly pushes contaception to reduce the number of abortions. They should heed these candid comments from advocates of contraception and abortion...
Dr. Larimore prescribed the pill before, tried to prove by research that it had no post fertilization effect, but instead found 94 studies proving that "postfertilization effects are operative to prevent clinically recognized pregnancy."
Published research in 2000 in the science journal of the American Medical Association.
Ethical Issues Regarding Oral Contraceptives
A Physician's Commentary about Post-Fertilization Effects
I have prescribed "the Pill" since 1978. My wife and I used the Pill for years, having no moral concerns about it. Then, in 1995 my friend and practice partner John Hartman, MD, showed me a patient information brochure--given to him by a friend--that claimed the Pill had a postfertilization effect causing "...the unrecognized loss of preborn children." John asked me if I had ever heard of such a thing. I had not. I did read the brochure and its claims seemed to be outlandish, excessive, and inaccurate. So, I decided to begin a literature search to disprove these claims to my partner, myself, and any patients who might ask about it.
The more research I did, the more concerned I became about my findings. I called researchers around the country and interviewed them. During this process I met Joe Stanford, MD. Joe volunteered to assist in the research that ultimately became this systematic review. We were concerned enough about our findings and about the fact that so many of our colleagues and patients seemed to share our ignorance about this potential effect that we presented the preliminary results of our research at a number of research forums, just to see if we were off base. Most of the reviewers suggested that, although this evidence was new to them (as it was to us), it seemed accurate and not off target. Furthermore, several said that they thought it would change the way family physicians informed their patients about the Pill and its potential effects.
The most difficult part of this research was deciding how to apply it to my practice. I discussed it with my partners, my patients, ethicists I know and respect, and pastors in my community. I studied the ethical principle of double effect and discussed the issue with religious physicians of several faiths.
Finally, after many months of debate and prayer, I decided in 1998 to no longer prescribe the Pill. As a family physician, my career has been committed to family care from conception to death. Since the evidence indicated to me that the Pill could have a postfertilization effect, I felt I could no longer, in good conscience, prescribe it--especially since viable alternatives are available.
The support and encouragement that my partners, staff, and patients have given me has been unexpectedly affirming. It seems that my patients have appreciated the information I have given them. Many have been surprised or even shocked (as I was) to learn about this potential effect. Many of my patients have chosen to continue taking the Pill, and we have physicians in our practice and community who will prescribe it for them. Patients who take the Pill tell me that they are much more careful with their compliance. Others have chosen other birth control options--especially one of the modern methods of natural family planning. So, this is research that has changed my soul and my practice. It has been an extraordinarily difficult issue with which I have had to wrestle. I suspect it will be so for many who thoughtfully read and consider the evidence contained in this review.
Walter L. Larimore, MD
Contraception linked to
massive rise in abortion rate
by Patrick B. Craine
SPAIN, January 5, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Abortion advocates often promote contraception by claiming that as contraception use increases, the number of “unwanted” pregnancies and therefore abortions will decrease. But a new study out of Spain has found the exact opposite, suggesting that contraception actually increases abortion rates.
The authors, who published their findings in the January 2011 issue of the journal Contraception, conducted surveys of about 2,000 Spanish women aged 15 to 49 every two years from 1997 to 2007. They found that over this period the number of women using contraceptives increased from 49.1% to 79.9%.
Yet they noted that in the same time frame the country’s abortion rate more than doubled from 5.52 per 1,000 women to 11.49.
The researchers, who had aimed to gather information about contraceptive use in order to reduce the number of abortions, were clearly puzzled by the results. They write that the findings were “interesting and paradoxical,” and suggest that the rise in abortion rate may be due to “inadequate or inconsistent use” of contraceptives. They also say it could be because more abortions, including “clandestine” and foreign abortions, are being reported.
“The factors responsible for the increased rate of elective abortion need further investigation,” reads the conclusion of the abstract.
However, Dr. Brian Clowes, the Director of Research and Training for Human Life International, has suggested that the researchers aren’t being completely up front. “It’s the same thing old thing. These guys pretend not to know what’s going on, but they know full well,” he said.
Dr. Dianne Irving, a bioethicist at Georgetown University and a former bench biochemist with the U.S.‘s National Institutes of Health, said the need for more study is “non-existent” because “years of scientific studies around the world” have established the link between contraception and abortion.
Pro-lifers have long argued that contraception results in greater sexual activity and, because contraception fails so consistently, in more “unwanted” pregnancies. This in turn leads to more abortions.
“Since it is ... a long-recognized and documented scientific fact that almost all so-called ‘contraceptives’ routinely fail at statistically significant rates resulting in ‘unplanned pregnancies’, is there any wonder that elective abortions are socially required in order to take care of such ‘accidents’?” asked Dr. Irving. “Thus abortion has become a ‘contraceptive’ in and of itself.”
“The whole idea is just to get people on contraception so they can sell them abortion,” said Dr. Clowes.
He pointed out that numerous high-profile abortion advocates have made the connection between abortion and contraception since the 1950s. These include figures such as Alfred Kinsey, Beckworth Whitehouse, and Christopher Tietze.
Malcolm Potts, the former Medical Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said in 1979, “As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate.”
The U.S. Supreme Court also admitted the connection while upholding the “right” to abortion in their 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey. “In some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception,” the justices wrote. “For two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.”
“I’ve been all around the world, and the way they start trying to legalize abortion is to legalize contraception first,” said Clowes. “And of course it fails tremendously, and so women start looking for illegal abortions. ... Then the same people who are pushing contraception say now we have to legalize abortion. It’s a really neat little system that works every time.”
Dr. Irving pointed out that many of the “contraceptives” cited by the authors also act as abortifacients. If the contraceptive action of the pill or the IUD fails, the drug or device then acts by “killing the early developing embryo during its first week of life while he/she is still in the woman’s fallopian tube,” she said.
The abortions that result from these abortifacient contraceptives are not counted in the authors’ abortion statistics, she noted, meaning the increase of abortions would be even higher than the study reports.
The authors found that the most common contraceptive was the condom; its usage increased from 21% to 38.8%. The second most common was the pill, which increased from 14.2% to 20.3%. Female sterilization and IUDs decreased, being used by less than five percent of women in 2007.
The authors grouped natural family planning methods in with contraception. The number using NFP dropped from 0.9 to 0.5 over the study period.
The study, entitled Trends in the use of contraceptive methods and voluntary interruption of pregnancy in the Spanish population during 1997-2007, can be found here.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
The Contraception Misconception
“Heaps of Empirical Evidence” Vindicate Pope Paul VI’s Dire Warnings 40 Years Ago About Contraceptives
The Contraception Misconception
By Natalie Hudson
Right to Life Association, Toronto & Area
Originally published in the Summer 2004 edition of Right to Life News Canada
Clearing up misconceptions is one of the primary roles of any educational pro-life organization. One of the most significant elements in the battle for a culture of life is to draw to people’s attention the fact that “contraception” is NOT a solution to abortion, but rather part of the problem.
The Link between Abortion & Contraception
When someone is newly educated about the abortion issue they may very well conclude that though abortion is a serious moral wrong, society should make use of contraception and “people should protect themselves”. The idea is that contraception, and this includes the “morning-after pill” (MAP) or emergency contraception, would prevent recourse to surgical abortion. However, facts will show that contraception, as a means to reduce abortion, is having dire consequences on our population, particularly our youth.
The history of contraception is long and, for the most part, surrounded by controversy. Suffice it to say that the laws in most countries of the world recognized that legalizing contraception would not be in their best interest – that is, until the “Sexual Revolution”. In Canada, the “birth control pill”, was legalized in 1969, the same year that abortion was made legal. The following year, Canada Statistics reported 11, 152 abortions. Today that number is sadly 106,418. A ten-fold increase in abortions since 1970 has occurred during a period of unprecedented contraceptive use. The World Health Organization reports that “among Canadian women age 15–44, 86% report using contraception [the pill]”.
The Contraceptive Mentality
The United States Supreme Court in the Planned Parenthood vs. Casey decision connected contraception and abortion.
“. . . in some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception. … For two decades of economic and social development, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.” 1
There is no culture or subculture in the world that has permitted contraception and then has not gone on to permit abortion.2 As acceptance of contraception increases so does acceptance of abortion. Why is this the case? Because at the root of contraception is the notion that a couple can engage in sexual activity and avoid its natural consequences. Couples who unintentionally conceive a child while using contraception are far more likely to resort to abortion than others.
Contraception alters our understanding of human sexuality by changing its purpose. The effects are far reaching and affect the way that we understand relationships, gender roles and the human person.
Contraception has historically been promoted as a means of women’s emancipation, yet ironically it has led to a much greater objectification of women. Women’s bodies have become a testing ground for pharmaceutical companies to reap profits from the myth that the natural consequences of sex can be avoided; women are put out of touch with their bodies as their fertility cycles become chemically controlled; and contraception can also be used to hide the evidence of abuse that is sometimes perpetrated among young or marginalized women.
The solution is to not run afoul of nature. The solution is to become sound moral agents in our decision-making. People rarely speak of the virtues in our times, but Aristotle wisely noted that happiness is found in a life of virtue. Freedom and happiness may be found in self-control and the exercise of the virtues like moderation, humility and generosity. With regard to human sexuality, that means having the generosity to say “yes” to human life. (This does not mean that every time a couple has relations they must conceive a child. Saying “yes” to life means being open to the possibility of new life even during the long infertile periods within the female cycle.) As Dr. Bernard Nathanson said, “it is not that contraception causes abortion; rather, both are caused by the perversion of autonomy -- taking freedom and using it to stop rather than to welcome life”.
Contraception: an Abortifacient
Contraception, in the form of the birth-control pill, is never able to prevent recourse to abortion because it is a form of abortion itself. The pill (including the morning-after-pill, the patch etc.) has two main actions. First, the pill acts to inhibit ovulation (a contraceptive action). It does this by suppressing ovulation through “tricking” the body into a simulated pregnancy. Once the body “thinks” that it is pregnant it will cease ovulation some of the time. As many as three or four times a year, breakthrough ovulation will occur and if the woman is sexually active, fertilization of the egg can occur. The second action of the pill is to alter the lining of the uterus for the purpose of preventing the newly conceived embryo from implanting (an abortifacient action). In the morning-after pill (emergency contraception) this abortifacient action “is probably the main mechanism of action of the morning-after pill”. 3
Taking the possibility of human life out of the sexual act has lead to a false sense of “sexual freedom” and with it a neglect of the responsibility that ought to accompany sex. Our youth have borne the brunt of this change in attitude. The US Center for Disease Control states
“for a variety of behavioral, social, and biological reasons, STDs disproportionately affect adolescents and young adults.4 In 1997, females aged 15 to 19 years had the highest reported rates of both chlamydia and gonorrhea among women; males aged 20 to 24 years had the highest reported rates of both chlamydia and gonorrhea among men. 5 The herpes infection rate of white youth aged 12 to 19 years increased nearly fivefold from the period 1976–80 to the period 1988–94. 6 Indeed, because not all teenagers are sexually active, the actual rate of STDs in teens is probably higher than the observed rates suggest. 7
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that “the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) other than AIDS, in particular chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, is highest among youth and young adults in the 15–29-year age group.” With regard to teen pregnancy, the WHO notes “between 1987 and 1994, the rate of teenage pregnancy rose by more than 20%.” “The out-of-wedlock birth rate to sexually-experienced teens did not decline from 1988 to 1995, but actually increased 29%, despite a 33% increase in the use of condoms.” 8
Failure rates of contraceptives (all methods) are significantly higher among unmarried teens and young adults.
"Failures are highest among cohabiting and other unmarried women, among low income, African-American and Hispanic women, among adolescents and women in their 20s. For example, adolescent women who are not married but cohabiting experience a failure rate of about 47% in the first year of contraceptive use. 9
Sexual relationships among teenagers can be the source of life-long pain and suffering. Not only do they live with anxiety about the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy or contracting a devastating STD, but their relationships are often fleeting and unstable, and the course of broken intimate relationships can have serious long-term developmental effects. A series of broken intimate relationships can seriously damage an individual's capacity to enter into a committed, loving marital relationship. In general, individuals who engage in premarital sexual activity are 50 percent more likely to divorce later in life than those who do not. 10
With more than 80% of women aborting being unmarried 11, it is not hard to see that extra-marital sexual relations are the leading cause of our shamefully high abortion rates. But the crack that broke the dam was contraception; making pre-marital sex feasible by apparently taking the possibility of consequences out of sex and taking responsibility with it.
Imagine a culture where virginity was revered instead of ridiculed. Consider the effect of the media on our youth if it were to promote abstinence till marriage, and fidelity in marriage. Think what effect, say MuchMusic would have on our abortion rates if they stopped glorifying pre-marital sex and promoted a “Choose Life” ethic. It has been done, but not on our continent.
Uganda has been promoting chastity and fidelity under Yoweri Museveni’s leadership for the last decade to its citizens through mass media. Bill boards and radio stations have been using the “graze where you’re tethered” image to the largely agrarian population with astounding effects.
In 2002, Dr. Vinand Nantulya, an infectious disease specialist who helped to advise Museveni, co-directed a Harvard School of Public Health study of the Ugandan experience. "Ugandans really never took to condoms," says Dr. Vinand Nantulya. What they have responded to is a high moral standard of sexual responsibility.
By 2002 the number of pregnant Ugandan women testing positive for HIV antibodies had fallen from 21.2 percent at the height of the epidemic in 1991 to 6.2 percent. By contrast, in neighboring Kenya the rate is roughly 15 percent; in Zimbabwe it stands at 32 percent; and in Botswana fully 38 percent of mothers-to-be are HIV-positive--with rates continuing to rise in each country. Unfortunately, all of these countries continue to promote condom use as the main means of stopping AIDS.
The New Republic (May 2002) article that featured the Harvard study states,
“By far the most striking epidemiological feature of Uganda's success is the drastic reduction in multiple partnering by Ugandan adults. Among women aged 15 and above, the number reporting multiple sexual partners fell from 18.4 percent in 1989 to 8.1 percent in 1995 to 2.5 percent in 2000, according to Nantulya's colleague in the Harvard study, anthropologist Edward C. Green. Smaller but similar declines in male promiscuity were reported as well. At the same time, while the average Ugandan girl becomes sexually active at the age of 17, the rate of marriage among girls aged 15 to 19 is 76 percent, compared with 37 percent in neighboring Kenya.” 12
Here in North America, the success of abstinence education is becoming evident. A landmark report published in September 1997 in the Journal of the American Medical Association called the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health followed more than 12,000 teenagers from the 7th to the 12th grade. The study found that one of the greatest factors in decreasing teen sexual involvement and other high risk behaviors was, clearly expressed disapproval by parents of their teen being sexually active, and strong disapproval of their teens using contraceptives. This study, the largest of its kind, found that promoting birth control had the unintended consequence of encouraging teen sex.
Abstinence Education Works
Abstinence till marriage can be promoted and practiced. Numerous abstinence-based programs that do not include education about contraceptives have proven to be the most successful in reducing teen sexual behaviour. More than a dozen programs in place throughout Canada and the United States show a statistically significant reduction in teen sexual activity. For example, a 2001 evaluation of the effectiveness of the “virginity pledge movement” using data from the US National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found that virginity pledge programs are highly effective in helping adolescents delay sexual activity. According to the authors of the study which was based on a sample of more than 5,000 students, taking a virginity pledge reduces by one-third the probability that an adolescent will begin sexual activity compared with other adolescents of the same gender, age and race. When taking a virginity pledge is combined with strong parental disapproval of sexual activity, the probability of initiation of sexual activity is reduced by 75 percent or more.13
The proportion of teens choosing abstinence has been growing and the majority of that growth has been among teenage males. In 1997, 51.1% of male teens had never had sex. This figure compares to 39.2% in 1990. 14
Promoting abstinence and natural fertility methods is especially empowering to women in the third world. They learn how to read the biological markers in their fertility cycle and gain a greater knowledge of sexual health matters. They can also avoid experimental contraceptives that are often used first by pharmaceutical companies in developing nations before bringing them to the developed world. Chemical contraceptives put women in poorer nations at risk, as they often do not have access to medical health care when complications from these artificial methods result.
Combating the all too prevalent view that contraception helps in reducing our epidemic levels of teen pregnancy and abortion is one of the first big steps to healing our culture. It is clear that educating about contraceptives under the “but they are going to do it anyway” argument substantially undermines the resolve of teens to not have sex, and compromises teachers, parents and other guardians who ought to be unwavering in their admonition against pre-marital sex.
Conceiving new human life was put together with sexual intercourse for a specific purpose. Respect for human life means respecting the process by which human life enters into the world. Our “yes” to life cannot be conditional. It must be absolute, at all times and in every circumstance where life is possible.
1. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey (91-744), 505 U.S. 833 (1992)
2 Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life and Fr. Paul Marx of Human Life International 3 Fabienne Grou, MD; Isabel Rodrigues, MD, M PH, “The morning after pill – How long after?”;American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynechology; Dec. 1994, pp. 1529-1534
4 Alan Guttmacher Institute. Sex and America’s Teenagers. New York, NY: the Institute, 1994.
5 CDC, Division of STD Prevention. Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance, 1997. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Public Health Service (PHS). Atlanta, GA: CDC, September 1998.
6 Fleming, D.T.; McQuillan, G.M.; Johnson, R.E.; et al. Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 in the United States, 1976 to 1994. New England Journal of Medicine 337:1105-1111, 1997. PubMed; PMID 9329932
7 Cates, W. Epidemiology and control of sexually transmitted diseases in adolescents. In: Schydlower, M., and Shafer, M., eds. AIDS and Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Philadelphia, PA: Hanly & Belfus, Inc.,1990, 409-427.
8 The Declines in Adolescent Pregnancy, Abortion and Birth Rates in the 1990s: What Factors are Responsible?
The Consortium of State Physicians Resource Councils, USA, 2001.
9 1995 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) and 1994-1995 Abortion Patient Survey (APS)
10 Joan R. Kahn and Kathryn A. London, "Premarital Sex and the Risk of Divorce," Journal of Marriage and the Family, November 1991, pp. 845-855.
11 The Allen Guttmacher Institute: 1973–1996: Henshaw SK et al., Readings on Induced Abortion, Volume 2: A World Review 2000, New York: AGI, 2001, Table 7. 1997–1999: Distributions published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adjusted for year-to-year changes in the reporting states.
12The New Republic; UGANDA V. CONDOMS, Sex Change; by Arthur Allen. Post date: 05.16.02
13 Peter S. Bearman and Hanna Bruckner, "Promising the Future: Virginity Pledges and First Intercourse," American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 106, No. 4 (January 2001), pp. 861, 862. The effects of a virginity pledge were shown to be statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level.
14 “The Declines in Adolescent Pregnancy, Abortion and Birth Rates in the 1990s: What Factors are Responsible?” The Consortium of State Physicians Resource Councils, USA, 2001.